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Plans reveal unique Nordic Spa concept for Edmonton


29 May 2019 (Edmonton, AB) –  A group of home-grown entrepreneurs have revealed plans to build a Scandinavian-style, indoor-outdoor spa facility to be complete by the end of next year. A traditional Nordic spa consists of working up a sweat in a wood-heated sauna, then plunging into a cold water pool, and finally relaxing in an outdoor steam bath.

The ‘Edmonton Nordic Spa’ will be a four-season wellness experience to be built in the heart of the city. The group behind it says it will “complement Edmonton’s landscape, culture, and local way of life”. 

“This will be a world-class, four-season, destination-worthy facility and we’re confident it will be warmly embraced as a regular health and wellness routine for residents of the city and surrounding area,” says Hank Van Weelden, one of the entrepreneurs behind the project and Managing Partner of Edmonton Nordic Spa. 

Heading up a group of Alberta-based investors, Van Weelden and some of his partners are the team behind Alberta’s first Nordic spa west of Calgary; Kananaskis Nordic Spa

Hank Van Weelden

Van Weelden continues: “As we’ve been developing plans with our partners over recent months and discussing how our vision for the facility will come to life, one piece that has become very clear is how we’re all 100% committed to Edmonton Nordic Spa looking and feeling exactly like Edmonton.  It’s got to have an authentic sense of the city at its core, a signature Edmonton experience.  We have always lived and done business here, so this is something that’s really important to us.”

The Nordic Spa practice, as a way of achieving full body and mind relaxation and recuperation, has been growing in popularity across Canada within recent years.  Based on the traditional Scandinavian approach to wellness, it follows the philosophy that moving between hot, warm and cold temperatures has numerous health benefits – known as hydrotherapy. 

The ownership group behind Edmonton Nordic Spa are confident that the increasing appeal of the Nordic Spa experience as wellness therapy as well as it being a relaxing leisure activity, will not only satisfy Edmontonians but will provide a draw into the city that can only benefit the regional economy. 

“We are very excited to have the Edmonton Nordic Spa come to our destination,” says Renee Williams, Director International Market Development, Tourism Edmonton. 

“Edmonton Tourism’s reason for being is to promote our incredible destination, the products and experiences within, to visitors all over the world. Unique and breathtaking experiences like the Edmonton Nordic Spa will help our team sell the destination and inspire year-round travel.”

While the exact location has not been disclosed, plans include a facility spanning two acres and featuring three distinct areas of use: social, silent, and a group gathering space.  There will be a total of eight outdoor pools (hot, warm and cold variations, with waterfall characteristics), steam and sauna rooms, two dining options including a bistro, and several massage therapy treatment rooms – to complement the hydrotherapy experience. 

“We want this to be an experience that is deeply-rooted in its place, to complement the regional landscape.” explains Michael Dub, Principal Architect. “The design of Edmonton Nordic Spa started by thinking about how guests will move around the space.  We took inspiration from the natural water flow and geological river formations along the North Saskatchewan River, and took note of how glacier water meanders down through the mountains and into the prairies. We are actively evoking the natural carvings that water makes into the regional landscape within this concept, to create a feeling of travelling upstream in the space while moving through the hydrotherapy cycle.”

As locally-based architects, well-established and ingrained into the city, Dub embarked on this project as one that needed to feel truly ‘Edmontonian’.

“The team thought a lot about how the Nordic spa practice relates to Canada, and to Edmonton.  For example, we knew it was important to not only have the typical solo / silent areas you’d expect to find in Nordic spa facilities for meditation and relaxation, but also to incorporate a social area for guests to communicate and connect with one another during their time there; we think residents, users and visitors to the heart of the city will enjoy this fusion of wellness and community at Edmonton Nordic Spa”, says Dub.

This understanding of how a tradition that is derived from Scandinavia translates to the rituals and tastes of Canadians is something Managing Partner Van Weelden is particularly passionate about.  As a serial entrepreneur and fan of physical endurance programs, he’s visited many across North America seeking relaxation and respite from both work and demands on his body.

When the opportunity arose to create a Canadian take on the Scandinavian wellness tradition in Kananaskis Country, just one hour west of Calgary, he and his colleagues gladly took on the challenge. They opened the first Nordic Spa in Alberta in Kananaskis in March 2018.

“We’ve seen with immense satisfaction, our first spa project in Kananaskis become a great success – and so warmly welcomed by Albertans,” Van Weelden adds. “We’re a city that has a vibrant, culturally-rich festival summer season, and we all know how long Edmonton’s winters can be. Taking the time to rejuvenate via the hydrotherapy cycle, all while outdoors – whether in the brisk temperatures or basking in the sunshine – is what the Nordic Spa is all about; Alberta was made for this concept”.

The group was encouraged by the enthusiasm of last year’s The Edmonton Project. The idea for a downtown public sauna spa near downtown in the river valley became the “People’s Choice.”  

“We think the city is ready for Edmonton Nordic Spa”, says Van Weelden. It’s time to bring an Edmontonian interpretation of this increasingly trending pastime to our city and start to make the very most of how we spend time within it – during each season.”

Click to learn more about Edmonton Nordic Spa.

View photos from the Kananaskis Nordic Spa. Photo credit Travel Alberta & Mike Seehagel.

President Todayville Inc., Honorary Lieutenant Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Board Member Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Alberta) Musician, Photographer, Former VP/GM CTV Edmonton.


Edmonton author has sights set on Amazon’s bestseller list



LRT is a great foundation for relationships in life.  Being open and vulnerable and ready to truly engage and learn throughout life is truly a remarkable skill.  Thank you for sharing Joe’s journey.”

~ Curtis Stange, President and CEO, ATB Financial, Alberta, Canada
Edmonton’s Mike Mack is a sought-after speaker, business consultant, and author.  He’s penned a new book on building strong relationships, in life and in business. Here is some information about the book:

“RELATIONSHIPS FOR KEEPS – How to Build Powerful Relationships in Business and in Life” is the story of a fictional character named Joe Lanz, who is a likeable and coachable guy who dreams of owning his own business. He desperately wants to break free from the world of corporate bureaucracy. Along the way, he faces many personal and professional struggles. During his journey, Joe meets a man, Vic Lawrence, who is 30 years older than Joe, and over the years, they develop a relationship for keeps.

Unbeknownst to Joe, Vic will become a dear friend and mentor. Vic will teach Joe many lessons in life, particularly about building strong, lifelong relationships.

Anyone can put themselves in Joe’s shoes at some point in their life; a business professional; a sales representative trying to grow their client base; a university student trying to build a network of people for future career opportunities; a partner who wrestles with an important personal relationship; or a struggling business owner who lacks the trusted network they hoped for, when times are tough. Through all of our ups and downs in life, the people we have meaningful relationships with are key to helping us move forward and grow.

Mike has always been someone who values relationships and for Mike the foundation is LRT = Like + Respect + Trust.

“LRT is a great foundation for relationships in life.  Being open and vulnerable and ready to truly engage and learn throughout life is truly a remarkable skill.  Thank you for sharing Joe’s journey.”

~ Curtis Stange, President and CEO, ATB Financial, Alberta, Canada

About Mike Mack:

Mike is the President and Managing Partner of X5 Management and is a sought-after Consultant, Coach and Speaker. X5 has been helping business teams maximize their potential since 2006 with the use of tailored consulting and training programs.

Mike holds an MBA from Athabasca University and is the Amazon best-selling author of “REMARKABLE SERVICE – How to Keep Your Doors Open”.

Click here to purchase “RELATIONSHIPS FOR KEEPS – How to Build Powerful Relationships in Business and in Life” on Amazon.

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Hole Family sells greenhouse business after 68 years




October 28, 2019, St. Alberta- AB-​Hole’s Greenhouses & Gardens LTD. embarks on a new journey as agriculture company, TEC Property Inc., takes over the business on January 01, 2020.

After over 68 years in the greenhouse business the Hole family has decided to move onto a new chapter. The family will continue to focus on its private label merchandise, which is manufactured in the province.

Hole’s has a deep rooted history in Alberta. Nearly 50 years ago, Ted and Lois Hole transformed their red barn into the family’s first retail store. In 1979, Jim Hole, his brother Bill and his sister in law, Valerie took over the company and expanded it to become one of the largest independent retail garden centres in Canada. In 2009, Hole’s began construction on the Enjoy centre, with added space for businesses to lease. In 2015, the centre was sold to focus on the greenhouse business.

Jim Hole, “It is an emotional time for our family and we’re excited for the next step. It’s a privilege to share knowledge of gardening with the community for such a long time and we will continue to do so.”

The family name will remain on the building. The Hole family will stay on at the greenhouse to help with the change until June 30, 2020. All staff will stay on and will continue to pass on expert advice to the community. Sale of the greenhouse business is effective December 31, 2019. TEC Property Inc., the owner of the Enjoy Centre, will take over management of the business and will work with the Hole family in transition for the 2020 season.

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